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Verstappen offers overtaking masterclass at Interlagos

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“You can’t overtake here,” a frustrated Lewis Hamilton said on the podium after finishing second in Brazil.

“I was behind Nico and in traffic for some time, so I just killed my tires. It’s a shame because it’s such a great track but you can’t get close enough in the race.

“It would be good if we could do some overtaking here.”

Try telling that to Max Verstappen.

At just 18 years old, the Dutchman has made an enormous impression during his debut Formula 1 season, and only added to his list of good deeds at Interlagos by producing two of the stand-out overtakes of the year.

Starting ninth, Verstappen dropped outside of the top ten in the opening stages of the race before putting up a spirited fightback that included two near-identical passes around the outside of turn one.

The first came on Sergio Perez at the beginning of lap 32. Verstappen swung his Toro Rosso out wide before dropping it down the hill, riding the kerb and forcing Perez to yield the position. The Mexican lost momentum after being passed, causing him to drop behind Romain Grosjean soon after.

Verstappen wasn’t done yet, though. On lap 58, he produced a near-identical move on Felipe Nasr at the first corner to relieve the Brazilian of 11th place before charging past Pastor Maldonado late on to finish 10th at the flag.

Following Felipe Massa’s exclusion, Verstappen was duly promoted to ninth, handing him two points for his efforts in Brazil.

“It was a very enjoyable race! Of course, you always want to score more points, but we have to be realistic and a P10 was the maximum we could do today,” Verstappen said.

“On the straights we were slow and it’s very difficult to defend position with a Lotus or a Force India unfortunately, but to add another point is always good.

“I enjoyed it out there this afternoon – I managed to do some good overtakes, especially at turn one! There were some good battles.

“I was attacking but behind they were also doing the same to me, so I had no rest but it was good fun! I’m happy to finish in the top ten once again.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.